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Essential Piano Repertoire?


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#1 ymapazagain

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 16:14

What do you consider to be essential repertoire for any serious and dedicated pianist?

I'll put in my two, as drilled into me by the head of piano at the conservatorium I attended...

1) All 24 Bach Preludes and Fugues from the Well Tempered Clavier

2) All Chopin Nocturnes

Suggestions?
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#2 Guest: Mad Tom_*

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 17:09

QUOTE(ymapazagain @ Jul 3 2009, 06:14 PM) View Post

What do you consider to be essential repertoire for any serious and dedicated pianist?
I'll put in my two, as drilled into me by the head of piano at the conservatorium I attended...
1) All 24 Bach Preludes and Fugues from the Well Tempered Clavier
2) All Chopin Nocturnes
Suggestions?

For starters:

All 48 of Bach's Preludes and Fugues from the WTC rolleyes.gif

There is so much music for the piano that 50 different pianists could come up with their own lists - each enough to fill a lifetime of study - with barely a piece duplicated between them.
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#3 ymapazagain

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 17:38

QUOTE(Mad Tom @ Jul 3 2009, 06:09 PM) View Post

QUOTE(ymapazagain @ Jul 3 2009, 06:14 PM) View Post

What do you consider to be essential repertoire for any serious and dedicated pianist?
I'll put in my two, as drilled into me by the head of piano at the conservatorium I attended...
1) All 24 Bach Preludes and Fugues from the Well Tempered Clavier
2) All Chopin Nocturnes
Suggestions?

For starters:

All 48 of Bach's Preludes and FUgues from the WTC rolleyes.gif



Oh jeez...embarassing! I was thinking 1 prelude and fugue for each major and minor key 12 times 2 = 24. You can tell I didn't take the head of piano's advice eh? I take it he wrote 2 for every key...oopsies!

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#4 Robodoc

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 08:42

QUOTE(ymapazagain @ Jul 3 2009, 05:14 PM) View Post

What do you consider to be essential repertoire for any serious and dedicated pianist?

You limit yourself with only TWTC by Bach and only the Etudes by Chopin.

To quote Charles Rosen from "Piano Notes":

"It would take only about eight hours to read through all the Schubert sonatas - less if you skip the repeats - and about another five to become acquainted with everything else he ever wrote for the solo piano: . . . one piano four hand would take only a little longer . . . in about 6 months of sight reading for 3 hours a day one could go through most of the keyboard music of Bach, Handel, Mozart, Chopin, Schumann, Mendelssohn, and Brahms. Another few months and one can add Haydn, Deussy, and Ravel. Another hour and a quarter would suffice for all of Schoenberg's piano muisic . . . and an hour and a half will get you through Stravinsky, including the works for piano and orchestra, and ten minutes each for the solo piano works of Anton von Webern and Alban Berg. . . not to have done this is . . . a handicap"

He is talking about sight reading, and is assuming that you are an accomplished pianist at the start of this oddessy of discovery; he does mention Beethoven elsewhere, and although he does not mention Liszt I am sure that most pianists would agree that claiming to be a serious pianist without playing any Liszt is unthinkable.

Nonetheless it is clear what he regards as the core repertoire and although you can add others from personal choice (e.g. Szymanowski, Gershwin, Ireland, etc.) it is hard to argue with his list as truly core repertoire.
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#5 Guest: maledictis_*

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 13:12

QUOTE(Robodoc @ Jul 4 2009, 09:42 AM) View Post

You limit yourself with only TWTC by Bach and only the Etudes by Chopin.
Thanks for pointing that out - I'm sure ymapazagain was only going to play those two until you showed him the error of his ways... rolleyes.gif

QUOTE(Robodoc @ Jul 4 2009, 09:42 AM) View Post

...although he does not mention Liszt I am sure that most pianists would agree that claiming to be a serious pianist without playing any Liszt is unthinkable.
Unsurprisingly, I disagree. Life is too short to play Liszt when there are so many other composers I like better.

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#6 Robodoc

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 18:58

QUOTE(maledictis @ Jul 4 2009, 02:12 PM) View Post

QUOTE(Robodoc @ Jul 4 2009, 09:42 AM) View Post

You limit yourself with only TWTC by Bach and only the Etudes by Chopin.
Thanks for pointing that out - I'm sure ymapazagain was only going to play those two until you showed him the error of his ways... rolleyes.gif

Dur.
In the meantime, so interested in scoring cheap, inaccurate and irrelevant points that you missed the fact the the OP mentioned the Nocturnes by Chopin, not the Etudes. Mea culpa etc.
QUOTE

QUOTE(Robodoc @ Jul 4 2009, 09:42 AM) View Post

...although he does not mention Liszt I am sure that most pianists would agree that claiming to be a serious pianist without playing any Liszt is unthinkable.
Unsurprisingly, I disagree. Life is too short to play Liszt when there are so many other composers I like better.

Clearly you are not "most pianists" but although you say you fall into the group who think that Liszt can be dispensed with completely I still stand by the opinion that MOST pianists would feel that SOME Liszt should be included in core repertoire - even if you don't, personally, play it. Or are you disagreeing with that opinion rather than the inclusion of Liszt in your own personal top 20? Or are you just being disagreeable for the sake of it? Silly question really.
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#7 ymapazagain

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 19:15

Well...who'd have thought it would get so heated!

No, of course I didn't mean to ONLY play the WTC and Chopin Preludes - jeez would that get boring (even though they're great!)! But they're the two that the head of piano insisted that every pianist should be able to play so I thought i'd use them to kick off the discussion!

Of course that leaves open the discussion of IS there any piece that a pianist SHOULD have or is it entirely down to the individual and their tastes (as mad tom inferred). Of course a lot of people would agree with this, but some might not. That's what I was curious to find out!
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#8 Guest: maledictis_*

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 20:02

QUOTE(Robodoc @ Jul 4 2009, 07:58 PM) View Post

QUOTE(maledictis @ Jul 4 2009, 02:12 PM) View Post

QUOTE(Robodoc @ Jul 4 2009, 09:42 AM) View Post

You limit yourself with only TWTC by Bach and only the Etudes by Chopin.

Thanks for pointing that out - I'm sure ymapazagain was only going to play those two until you showed him the error of his ways... rolleyes.gif

Dur.
In the meantime, so interested in scoring cheap, inaccurate and irrelevant points that you missed the fact the the OP mentioned the Nocturnes by Chopin, not the Etudes. Mea culpa etc.
Is there some law against being facetious on this forum? Why do you have to be so serious all the time? blink.gif

QUOTE(Robodoc @ Jul 4 2009, 07:58 PM) View Post

QUOTE(maledictis @ Jul 4 2009, 02:12 PM) View Post

QUOTE(Robodoc @ Jul 4 2009, 09:42 AM) View Post

...although he does not mention Liszt I am sure that most pianists would agree that claiming to be a serious pianist without playing any Liszt is unthinkable.

Unsurprisingly, I disagree. Life is too short to play Liszt when there are so many other composers I like better.

Clearly you are not "most pianists" but although you say you fall into the group who think that Liszt can be dispensed with completely I still stand by the opinion that MOST pianists would feel that SOME Liszt should be included in core repertoire - even if you don't, personally, play it. Or are you disagreeing with that opinion rather than the inclusion of Liszt in your own personal top 20? Or are you just being disagreeable for the sake of it? Silly question really.
You said that most pianists would agree that it was unthinkable. I felt that was rather overstating the case and so was giving a counter-example. Excuse me for not falling in with your opinion dry.gif
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#9 Guest: Solari_*

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 23:29

QUOTE(maledictis @ Jul 4 2009, 09:02 PM) View Post

You said that most pianists would agree that it was unthinkable. I felt that was rather overstating the case and so was giving a counter-example. Excuse me for not falling in with your opinion dry.gif


I agree. It's unthinkable that any serious pianist can exclude greensleeves or chopsticks from their repertoire. mad.gif

Seriously: I'm only a beginner player but listen to a *lot* of piano music . I love Liszt but to be honest there probably only one specific piece of his I want to learn when (if ever) I am proficient enough: Liebestraume no.3.

I can think of tonnes of other stuff I'd rather learn first smile.gif I personally think that unless you aim to be a concert pianist, you should just build up a repertoire that you enjoy playing, comprising of music that you truly have an affinity with and a passion for. If that solely comprises contemporary music, for example, so be it.
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#10 Guest: Mad Tom_*

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 06:01

QUOTE(Solari @ Jul 6 2009, 01:29 AM) View Post

I personally think that unless you aim to be a concert pianist, you should just build up a repertoire that you enjoy playing, comprising of music that you truly have an affinity with and a passion for

I think this is good advice for concert pianists too. Who wants to hear someone playing something they don't have any passion for.
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#11 fsharpminor

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 11:17

Yes I agree one should play what one likes, but to answer the original question I'll have a go at a very basic list which might be manageable Gr8 - Dip A standard.

Scarlatti: Some of his 550 keyboard Sonatas
Bach: Well Tempered Klavier or Keyboard Partitas
Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven : A few sonatas by each of them
Schubert: A couple of piano sonatas or the two sets of Impromptus. Moments Musicaux.
Mendelssohn: maybe some Songs without Words, eg 'Duetto'
Schumann: Kinderscenen, Waldscenen, or Papillons or Fantasiestucke. Or maybe Carnival !
Chopin: Some Waltzes, Mazurkas or Nocturnes
Brahms: Some of the pieces from Op117-119
Grieg: A few Lyric Pieces eg Butterfly, Nocturne, Wedding Day at Troldhaugen,
Debussy: Some of the two books of preludes.
Ravel: Sonatine, Minuet Antique, Le tombeau de Couperin
Bartok: Three Rondos, Fifteen Hungarian Folk Songs, a few pieces from later Mikrocosmos books, Sonatine
Shostakovich: Three Fantastic Dances, Preludes Op34, maybe a couple of the easier Preludes and Fugues Op87.


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#12 Guest: Mad Tom_*

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 13:39

QUOTE(fsharpminor @ Jul 6 2009, 01:17 PM) View Post

Yes I agree one should play what one likes, but to answer the original question I'll have a go at a very basic list which might be manageable Gr8 - Dip A standard.

Scarlatti: Some of his 550 keyboard Sonatas
Bach: Well Tempered Klavier or Keyboard Partitas
Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven : A few sonatas by each of them
Schubert: A couple of piano sonatas or the two sets of Impromptus. Moments Musicaux.
Mendelssohn: maybe some Songs without Words, eg 'Duetto'
Schumann: Kinderscenen, Waldscenen, or Papillons or Fantasiestucke. Or maybe Carnival !
Chopin: Some Waltzes, Mazurkas or Nocturnes
Brahms: Some of the pieces from Op117-119
Grieg: A few Lyric Pieces eg Butterfly, Nocturne, Wedding Day at Troldhaugen,
Debussy: Some of the two books of preludes.
Ravel: Sonatine, Minuet Antique, Le tombeau de Couperin
Bartok: Three Rondos, Fifteen Hungarian Folk Songs, a few pieces from later Mikrocosmos books, Sonatine
Shostakovich: Three Fantastic Dances, Preludes Op34, maybe a couple of the easier Preludes and Fugues Op87.

Nice list. But ... No Couperin, No Rameau, No Clementi, No Liszt, No Tchaikovsky, No Prokofiev, no Scriabine, No Rachmaninoff, (Chabrier, Richard Strauss, Schoenberg, Medtner, Saens-Saens, Albeniz, Dohnanyi, Ginastera, Sibelius, Stravinsky, Villa-Lobos, Martinu ... + many more) smile.gif

In any case I failed! I play nothing by Brahms and only the easy Roumanian Folk Songs from Bartok

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#13 fsharpminor

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 14:36

QUOTE(Mad Tom @ Jul 6 2009, 02:39 PM) View Post

QUOTE(fsharpminor @ Jul 6 2009, 01:17 PM) View Post

Yes I agree one should play what one likes, but to answer the original question I'll have a go at a very basic list which might be manageable Gr8 - Dip A standard.

Scarlatti: Some of his 550 keyboard Sonatas
Bach: Well Tempered Klavier or Keyboard Partitas
Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven : A few sonatas by each of them
Schubert: A couple of piano sonatas or the two sets of Impromptus. Moments Musicaux.
Mendelssohn: maybe some Songs without Words, eg 'Duetto'
Schumann: Kinderscenen, Waldscenen, or Papillons or Fantasiestucke. Or maybe Carnival !
Chopin: Some Waltzes, Mazurkas or Nocturnes
Brahms: Some of the pieces from Op117-119
Grieg: A few Lyric Pieces eg Butterfly, Nocturne, Wedding Day at Troldhaugen,
Debussy: Some of the two books of preludes.
Ravel: Sonatine, Minuet Antique, Le tombeau de Couperin
Bartok: Three Rondos, Fifteen Hungarian Folk Songs, a few pieces from later Mikrocosmos books, Sonatine
Shostakovich: Three Fantastic Dances, Preludes Op34, maybe a couple of the easier Preludes and Fugues Op87.

Nice list. But ... No Couperin, No Rameau, No Clementi, No Liszt, No Tchaikovsky, No Prokofiev, no Scriabine, No Rachmaninoff, (Chabrier, Richard Strauss, Schoenberg, Medtner, Saens-Saens, Albeniz, Dohnanyi, Ginastera, Sibelius, Stravinsky, Villa-Lobos, Martinu ... + many more) smile.gif

In any case I failed! I play nothing by Brahms and only the easy Roumanian Folk Songs from Bartok


Yeah I probably should have included:-

Scriabin Preludes Op11.
Prokofiev Visions Fugitifs
Probably some Spanish type stuff like Albeniz/Granados (eg Valses Poeticos)
I didn't put Clementi is 'cos Haydn and Mozart were there.

I was aiming at Gr8 - Dip A level (sort of stuff I play myself), not much by Liszt/Rachmaninoff/Medtner to include there ! Anyway it was just a starting suggestion.



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#14 Edwardo

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 14:57

QUOTE(maledictis @ Jul 4 2009, 02:12 PM) View Post

QUOTE(Robodoc @ Jul 4 2009, 09:42 AM) View Post

You limit yourself with only TWTC by Bach and only the Etudes by Chopin.
Thanks for pointing that out - I'm sure ymapazagain was only going to play those two until you showed him the error of his ways... rolleyes.gif

QUOTE(Robodoc @ Jul 4 2009, 09:42 AM) View Post

...although he does not mention Liszt I am sure that most pianists would agree that claiming to be a serious pianist without playing any Liszt is unthinkable.
Unsurprisingly, I disagree. Life is too short to play Liszt when there are so many other composers I like better.


I rather take my life in my hands in disagreeing with Maledictis, but until fairly recently I was more or less in the anti-Liszt camp. That is, until I saw this fragment of "Totentanz", which softens even my hardened cardiac object.
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#15 madbassoonist

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 16:06

QUOTE(Solari @ Jul 6 2009, 12:29 AM) View Post

I agree. It's unthinkable that any serious pianist can exclude greensleeves or chopsticks from their repertoire. mad.gif

ohmy.gif tongue.gif
a bit off topic, sorry... but I really hate it when little 5-year-olds come to the piano and play chopsticks, as their 'party piece', when I've been playing for 6 years and never learned it. Not that I regret it!! I like to show them up (and their generally pushy parents!) by then playing a piece by Debussy, or Mozart, or Scarlatti! laugh.gif The looks on their faces... brilliant! biggrin.gif
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